Heavenly Stems & Earthly Branches

In ancient China, heavenly stems and earthly branches were used to form a calendar system based on a sexagenary cycle. Nowadays, heavenly stems are mostly used in enumerations while earthly branches are used for the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Heavenly Stems

Heavenly stems


#
Char. Pinyin Definition
1 jiǎ First
2 Second
3 bǐng Third
4 dīng Fourth
5 Fifth
6 Self
7 gēng Age of a person
8 xīn Hardship
9 rén Burden
10 guǐ Menstruation

 

 

 

Earthly Branches


Earthly branches


#
Char. Pinyin Zodiac animal
1 Rat
2 chǒu Ox
3 yín Tiger
4 mǎo Rabbit
5 chén Dragon
6 Snake
7 Horse
8 wèi Sheep
9 shēn Monkey
10 yǒu Rooster
11 Dog
12 hài Pig